I am from the islands of Hawai’i, and have recently finished a doctoral degree in Engineering at University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. I am not fluent in Japanese, but after taking some classes and living here, I can at least hold small conversations and not embarrass myself too badly; and of course, I have learned to easily read menus and restaurant reviews… the important stuff! I eat a primarily vegetarian diet, though I sometimes forgo this in order to try new foods while abroad. I often try to indicate on my posts whether places and foods are vegetarian/vegan friendly, since not everywhere I go or write about is.
I live with my dachshund and my husband in a small town near the university, surrounded by farms and sugarcane fields.
My hobbies are eating and hula; I get to dance once a week with some amazing local ladies with a lot of aloha spirit here in Okinawa and they have become a part of my ohana. I teach eikaiwa 英会話 (English conversation) once a week at the Shuri Community Center to some lovely older ladies and gentlemen. I go to the beach and ocean as much as I can, whether it is snorkeling, swimming, diving, or just relaxing. I try to venture out to all corners of these islands, to try food and learn about local culture. I have recently started tea ceremony lessons, and practice wearing kimono.
I love traveling and have been to many places within Japan, and a few other parts of Asia. Unfortunately I have only been to Europe twice (Scotland, Italy & Germany), but one day perhaps I will remedy that when I have time and money.
Right now, this is a work in progress, re: mess; the entries need to be edited and added to. After living here for over 5 years, there is so much I have learned in my little corner of the world and I am trying to organize it all into cohesive thoughts. Most of these entries are a bit “slice of life” and probably not a lot of meaning, just little things that are part of every day life. It is a very informal blog, more of a way for me to organize and collect notes on things I have learned so that I have them for reference. So please enjoy Okinawa from my small perspective.
Also please feel free to contact me about anything you see (or don’t see) on this blog.